The Project on Middle East Political Science, POMEPS, is a collaborative network designed to enhance the broader Middle East’s political science field and its engagement with the broader academic discipline, public policy, and the public sphere. POMEPS seeks to shape innovative new approaches to the political science of the region, support the field’s publication in leading academic journals, and ultimately build the number of tenured political scientists specializing on the Middle East. It also aims to increase their contribution to the public foreign policy debate and to the policy-making process, in order to allow their expertise to have more of an impact on vital decisions about the Middle East.
POMEPS is based at the Institute for Middle East Studies at the George Washington University and is supported by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation. It is directed by Marc Lynch, and guided by an Executive Committee, which includes 10 leading tenured political scientists from major research universities.
The major activities of POMEPS are:
- Annual Meeting: Once a year, POMEPS brings together more than 25 leading Middle East-focused political scientists from around the United States to discuss the field and to exchange work and ideas. The inaugural meeting was in May 2010.
- Regular Meetings: Throughout the year, POMEPS will host smaller meetings unified by a common theme, such as Yemen, Islamism, oil, democracy or Iran. Half a dozen scholars will exchange cutting-edge work in progress, and also meet privately with senior policy-makers, journalists, editors, and policy analysts.
- Academic Engagement: POMEPS helps Fellows improve their prospects for academic publication and supports events where they can present their work, including special sessions and organized panels at relevant academic conferences.
- Policy Engagement: POMEPS will help to facilitate interaction between its members and policy makers, journalists, and others on a regular basis.
- Web Site: The POMEPS website will regularly publicize new academic work on the Middle East and host “book salons” for authors and critics. The site will become a major outlet for the dissemination of research.
- Middle East Channel: POMEPS helps to support the Middle East Channel at ForeignPolicy.com, a hub for online analysis and commentary on the Middle East, launched in March 2010. ForeignPolicy.com had nearly 45 million page views last year, and the Middle East Channel has become a major part of this influential site.